This week congressional members are receiving classified briefings on ISIS, some ahead of President Barack Obama’s Wednesday night address.
“Is the threat actually greater?” U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said. “I think the testimony here today shows that the threat definitely is greater.”
Congress is divided on whether a vote is needed for military action, as President Obama faces strategic challenges, not only in forming a coalition, but in describing a strategy to the American people and lawmakers.
“I want to know exactly what the targets are, how they’re going to mitigate an escalation, how long it will take them to basically apply enough hurt on ISIS that the behavior changes,” Rep. Reid Ribble (R-8th District) said in an interview. “”There is a way to achieve our military objectives whenever we want to, but the issue is what type of collateral damage are we willing to accept and how are they going to mitigate it? So I believe that’s what we’re going to hear a bit tonight from the President, although the President with the American people will have to be deliberately vague on some of the behind-the-scenes strategic things.”
Johnson said in an interview Wednesday he’s concerned some options, like more military troops, seem to already be taken off the table.
“The threat is growing,” he said. “It hasn’t been reduced. It’s actually growing, so you have to acknowledge that reality. It’s an asymmetric threat. It’s unfortunately going to be with us for years.”
ABC News reports the president will make it clear he is prepared to strike ISIS in Syria, just like in Iraq.
In a prepared statement to Action 2 News, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) said, “I am concerned about the potential for long-term and open-ended U.S.-led military action, so I don’t support sending American combat troops on the ground in Iraq or Syria and will not support a go-it-alone approach.”